In the final weeks of the season, Scottie Barnes was playing his best basketball of the season for a surging Toronto Raptors team. At the same time, Evan Mobley missed five games due to injury for a Cleveland Cavaliers team that stumbled down the standings into the play-in tournament.
That was fresh in voters’ minds and may have made the difference as Barnes won Rookie of the Year over Mobley in the closest vote since the NBA switched to this format almost two decades ago.
The 15-point difference between the NBA Rookie of the Year winner (Scottie Barnes) and the second-place finisher (Evan Mobley) is the smallest margin since the current voting format began 19 years ago.
More ➡️ https://t.co/dC7zbvLY5q
Full voting results ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/LWhlYARDcX
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) April 23, 2022
The Raptors got another former Raptors Rookie of the Year, Vince Carter, to break the news.
ROTY 4 SCOTTIE
— x – Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 23, 2022
Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists a game for the Raptors, he played quality defense, plus played more minutes than any other rookie (starting every game he played in for Toronto). He earned this award.
Barnes missed the last two games of the Raptors’ first-round series against the 76ers due to a sprained ankle, but returned in Game 4.